The transport and logistics sector is still a world dominated by men. Take the average truck driver who, according to statistics, is a 51 year old male. In the UK, less than 0.5% of truck drivers are female , and in the Netherlands only 2-3 % of all drivers in transport and logistics are women. A recent poll conducted by the FTA showed that 79% of the female respondents would be willing to drive a 44-tonne truck. So what could be the reason that still less than 1 per cent of truck drivers are female? With the approaching shortage of truck drivers, women might just be the answer.
Natalie Tipton is one of the few female truck drivers in the UK. In this short interview by the BBC she explains why more women should be driving and what she thinks are the barriers.
Source: BBC news, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-34943521
How to promote the transport sector for women
Accessibility: The industry is more and more adjusted to women behind the wheel. Truck companies are developing trucks that are more suited for all kinds of people, from big guys to small women. The gear stick is more easily operable and accessible from the high chairs and trucks are optimized for loading and unloading with a forklift or a pallet truck. And the business has a lot more to offer than just truck driving.
Include women in promotion: Currently, almost one third of all drivers in the Netherlands are over 50 years old, meaning a great deal of drivers will retire quite soon. The shortage this will create is not solved easily, as young people tend to choose another profession. Promoting the transport and logistics business should therefore not only be focused on young guys only but should include (young) women as well.
More companies are specializing in recruiting women for the transport & logistics industry. For example Women in Logistics UK or Women in Logistics and Transport (WiLAT). Both focused on attracting more women to the transport industry. Initiatives like these can help give the sector a push in the right way. But most important is that we listen to experts such as Natalie Tipton who have firsthand experience.
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